By Joshua Fitch
The Youngstown State University women’s golf team ended its fall season at the University of Dayton Fall invitational in Kettering, Ohio, with a first-place win.
In its first tournament of the year in September, the team placed first at the Roseann Schwartz Invitational in Boardman. In its most recent finish, the Penguins had three golfers in the top-10 and shot a 580 as a team.
Victoria Grans finished in second-place with a score of 142, a career best. Katlyn Shutt finished in third place and Puthita Khuanrudee tied for ninth with a 148.
“It was nice to see that everyone could play so well,” Grans said. “Even though we’ve had some struggles individually and as a team, coming out with this win made me so happy. I had a good feeling from the start.”
Grans, a freshman majoring in political science, is also an international student from Stockholm, Sweden, and is still adjusting to life in Youngstown.
“I think I’ve handled it the best I could,” Grans said. “I didn’t know what to really expect, so I went with the flow. I can learn to manage my time with school as well. Now that we’re done, I feel I have a lot of school to catch up on.”
The Penguins will have the rest of the fall semester away from the golf course before the spring season and a chance for a conference title. During the break, it’s up to each player to get better and improve off a strong fall showing.
“I think what helped us in the last tournament was actually acting like a team,” junior Shutt said. “All of us putting aside our differences and complaints to come together and get a team win. That’s good to look forward to in the spring. I think we’ve all learned a lot, especially the freshmen. We have to be able to give them some guidance.”
Now that the fall season is in the books, there are a lot of aspects this team will be able to draw back on when the spring season rolls around. Even the offseason, practice and preparation for the spring is something this team is looking forward to.
“I think we’ll be in good standing because we played a lot of conference teams this fall and have proven ourselves,” Shutt said.
In the Dayton Invitational, the Penguins beat Cleveland State University and Oakland University, two Horizon League opponents that YSU will certainly see again, but with higher consequences.
“We’re there to win, especially in the conference,” Shutt added, “It’s a confidence booster, and I think it also shows them we’re here to play and here to win. We’re not a team you can write off.”
For Grans, who is also in her first year academically at YSU, the fall season was a big boost for her going forward.
“It’s been very time consuming, but I feel that I get more comfortable within the team as we go,” Grans said. “I think that’s a good thing for the spring when we actually have our conference, we know what we can expect. I think I’ll feel a lot more confident.”
“I played the best golf of my life in the fall,” she added. “But I won’t sit back and wait for the spring to come, I will work hard because I know the other teams will work hard. I know we have to put in the work too.”
The spring golf season will begin in early February 2019.